Sandstone Press

Celestial Bodies by Jokha Alharthi

RRP: £8.99
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781912240166
Publication Date: 21/06/2018
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Celestial Bodies

Jokha Alharthi

Shortlisted for the 2019 Man Booker International Prize!

Winner of the 2010 Best Omani Novel Award!

Celestial Bodies is set in the village of al-Awafi in Oman, where we encounter three sisters: Mayya, who marries Abdallah after a heartbreak; Asma, who marries from a sense of duty; and Khawla who rejects all offers while waiting for her beloved, who has emigrated to Canada. These three women and their families witness Oman evolve from a traditional, slave-owning society slowly redefining itself after the colonial era, to the crossroads of its complex present. Elegantly structured and taut, Celestial Bodies is a coiled spring of a novel, telling of Oman’s coming-of-age through the prism of one family’s losses and loves.

Translated by Marilyn Booth

Jokha Alharthi

Jokha Alharthi portrait

Jokha Alharthi is the author of two previous collections of short fiction, a children’s book, and three novels in Arabic. Fluent in English, she completed a PhD in Classical Arabic Poetry in...

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Reviews

‘A richly imagined, engaging and poetic insight into a society in transition and into lives previously obscured.'’
-The Man Booker International Prize judges

‘It skilfully builds suspense by creating “Aha!” moments as characters come to better understand their pasts.’
-Marcia Lynx Qualey, The National

‘Compelling...’
-Women In Translation

‘Blends the rhythms of daily life with magic and legend.’
-Muhammad Barrada

‘Well written and multi-faceted, as every book long-listed for the Man Booker International Prize ought to be.’
-Dolce Belleza

‘Delivers the reader immediately into the world of the marginal, forgotten, most subaltern sectors of society.’
-Ibrahim al-Hajari

‘This novel is interesting as a lens through which to view an important time in the transition of Omani society’
-The Wee Review

‘Finished it in a couple of sittings, addictive, compelling, informative and completely fascinating to read! Definitely recommend it, fingers crossed it appears on the short list too.’
-Fiona Sharp, Independent Book Reviews